Ritual Confessions

February 12, 2008

Random detritus of the day

Filed under: Uncategorized — elissakaren @ 5:09 am

Sign in the window of a local store: We proudly serve handcrafted coffee. What the hell is handcrafted coffee?

Spray-painted on a sign for North Portland Bible College: Jesus hates you.

Today a young man and his female partner came to rip up the light-blue wall-to-wall carpet in the room that Jack painted, and to put down wooden floors. I found this couple on a hasty internet search for floor specialists in Vancouver. The two of them arrived at the appointed minute, worked in blessed near-silence for ten straight hours, got paid, thanked us politely, and left. Nirvana. Meanwhile, they did a great job. The room is nearly irreconcilable with its former state. When we moved in, besides this stained carpet, there was also the most garish wallpaper: electric blue and textured beneath the horizontal beam, white with this paint-splotch pattern (of blues and mauves) above. A monstrous shelf unit (think of a certain psuedo-medieval motif popular in the 70’s, involving fake wood with a blackened brass trim) had been left behind by the former owners; it held the many components of the security system we’d inherited, and it dominated the whole left wall. This unit, along with its equipment, was the first to go. Then the wallpaper, and now finally the carpet. I love the way it looks now: very plain and warm, with rich red cherry floors, exposed wooden ceiling beams, and freshly painted lilac and cream walls. It’s the rustic little den it was meant to be. And it’s mine.

For the first few weeks of Montessori, whenever I came to pick up Charlotte, she’d whimper at the first sight of my face at the window, then frantically try to get to me from wherever she was in the room. Today she was sitting at the table with the other kids and when I arrived, instead of doing anything desperate, she broke into a wide smile and said, “Hi!”

Today’s exchange with David Rochester made me remember a job I had in New York City, working at Covenant House, a shelter for homeless and runaway teens. I’m planning to make this the subject of tomorrow evening’s post.



  1. 1) The room sounds gorgeous.

    2) I think “handcrafted” means that one of the store owners buys the raw beans and roasts them himself in a barbecue in his back yard.

    Comment by davidrochester — February 12, 2008 @ 3:15 pm

  2. 1) At least it didn’t say cat-crafted. 🙂

    2) It sounds lovely!

    Comment by Shawn W — February 13, 2008 @ 5:15 am

  3. Oh, but now, nothing in the world could stop me from buying cat-crafted coffee.

    Comment by Elissa — February 13, 2008 @ 5:18 am

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